A catastrophe announced for President Emmanuel Macron, which once again demonstrates the fragility of La République en marche (Lrem), in a national context marked by a participation rate at historic lows. Three and a half months after the first round, France has returned to the polls for the ballot of the municipal elections, including masks, disinfectant gel and sanitized seats in 4,800 municipalities.
According to the first projections, the left united under the colors of the environmentalists of Europe-Ecology-I greens (Eelv) would have won important cities, while La République en marche by President Emmanuel Macron was found totally unprepared, against the backdrop of a vote marked by a record abstention rate, at 60% according to estimates by Elabe-Berger Levrault reported by Le Parisien and Bfm TV. According to what the Elysée declared, Macron said he was “worried about the weak participation rate”.
In Paris, the outgoing mayor is confirmed, the socialist Anne Hidalgo, who stands at around 50% of the preferences by beating the republican rival, Rachida Dati and that of Lrem, the former Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn. Although until a few months ago it seemed in full crisis, the first citizen in office had the better of her challengers by concentrating the election campaign on the theme of the environment, which has now become the first political challenge in France.
The Greens also triumph Bordeaux, where Pierre Humic is given to 46.8 percent, in front of the outgoing mayor, the republican Nicolas Florian also supported by Lrem, behind 43.2 percent, while Philippe Poutou, of the New Anti-capitalist Party (Npa ), is third with 10 percent. Same scenario also in Lille and Lyon, which pass into the hands of environmentalists.
The Marine Le Pen Rassemblement National, after confirming seven of its ten outgoing mayors in the first round of March 15, wins the city of Perpignan with Louis Aliot (52.7%), bringing home a meager booty.
A “green wave” which, as was foreseeable after the results of the first round and the latest polls, has cooled the hopes of President Emmanuel Macron’s République en marche. The party of the presidential majority paid dearly for his young age and the consequent absence on the territory, giving way to a left that seems to have regained the ability to dialogue within it under the impulse of Europe-Ecology-The Greens, environmentalist party
To block the way on the return of the left, the majority formation has allied themselves with the Republicans in many cities such as Bordeaux, Toulouse and Clermont-Ferrand. A paradox for the party of President Emmanuel Macron, which aims to orient the last part of his mandate precisely on environmental issues. “I believe there has been an anti-Lrem front,” recognized government spokesman Sibeth Niadye.
But now Macron wants to turn the page as soon as possible to leave behind the bad results of these municipalities. The 2022 presidential elections are getting closer and the mandate of the head of state needs a new impetus, which should come with the government reshuffle expected in the coming days. Macron wants to change music, but first a decision must be made about the conductor. To date, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has faithfully managed the executive without ever picking a stick, but his presence seems to have become a jarring note for Macron, who wants to return to the scene as the only soloist.
According to the rumors leaked in the press in recent days, frictions have arisen between the Elysee and Matignon (seat of government), especially concerning the management of the health crisis. The head of state and that of the executive would now be at loggerheads, so much so that the second decided to run for mayor in his fiefdom of Le Havre, in Normandy, where he is first at 59% of the votes according to first estimates. A sort of parachute, in case the president decides to put it on the door.
The premier has repeatedly said that he will not abandon his post, and as long as he is part of the executive he will delegate the post to the outgoing mayor, the republican Jean-Baptiste Gastinne. But Macron cannot get rid of his government’s most popular figure so easily, which continues to grow in polls unlike the president. Among the most accredited names for the position of premier is that of Jean-Yves Le Drian, a former socialist at the head of the Foreign Ministry, but also the Minister of Economy, the former Republican Bruno Le Maire, and that of Defense , Florence Parly. Important figures, but above all loyal to the Elysée, capable of guaranteeing stability, while Macron tries to mend a tear with the French that has become evident.